Emily In Paris has now become a cultural phenomenon. The Netflix hit has been making headlines for its very clichéd presentation of the food. Do the French always want their meat rare? Are coffee and croissant the national breakfast? Non, say the French. It doesn’t matter, however, as the idea of French dining enamours us. We know it’s clichéd, but we wouldn’t mind being Emily, eating her way through the best French restaurants. It is a vicarious pleasure to watch her.
But why should we just watch? Hong Kong is dotted with French bistros to try out those steak-frites, pot-au-feu, and soupe à l’oignon. At these Parisan-style restaurants, you can experience a more homely style of cooking, albeit with the optional extra of natural wines and impeccably sourced ingredients.
The bistros we’ve picked stand out from other French restaurants and brasseries thanks to their informal ethos and cuisine. So, whether you’re after escargot or something more original, take your pick from our definitive list of Hong Kong’s best French restaurants. They will kid you into thinking you’ve stumbled into Gabriel’s restaurant in Emily in Paris.
So, bag a comfy spot on a banquette, order a kir and settle in for the menu du jour right here in Hong Kong.
Best French bistros in Hong Kong
A neo-Parisian bistro that’s as well suited for a business lunch as for a lengthy meal among friends, Belon, from Baltimore native chef Matthew Kirkley, is a super elegant spot. Roast chicken is the star of the show here, but don’t overlook the elevated dishes, such as Tasmanian Ocean Trout with horseradish and dill, Cervelas en Brioche with truffle gastrique and Mikan Mille-Feuille with vanilla Chantilly cream. Order the Earl Grey & Salted Caramel Millefeuille for dessert, which you’ll dream about long after you’ve left the restaurant.
Image credit: belonsoho.com
Le Bistro Winebeast is among the classic gourmet (if ever there were an apt if antiquated word) bistros you return to in Hong Kong again and again. Here, beauty is both in the space and the plate. Chef Léa Cantalloube curates a seasonal menu that is utterly satisfying. The Pithivier of Pigeon and Goie Gras is a must-try here. The bistro, quite simply, offers the best seasonal menu in Hong Kong that changes every six months.
Image credit: le.bistro.winebeast/Instagram
With its sun-filled, vintage-inspired venue, Maison ES is perfect for spending long weekend afternoons with your friends and family. Do check out their adorable vintage bicycle on the garden terrace! Besides, the menu includes more original flavour combinations than the usual egg, cheese, ham, and cheese. The restaurant offers a weekend brunch buffet along with the à la carte and tasting menu. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a touch of “je ne sais quoi.”
Image credit: maison-es.com
There’s no escaping a food coma after a meal at La Cabane. This is a gut-busting traditional French meal at its finest whipped with season ingredients and artisanal ingredients. Besides, the dreamy spot is perfect for an intimate dinner or a cosy date with a very French flair. After all, what could be more romantic than sipping on a selection of natural wines along with a lovely meal.
Image credit: lacabane.hk
La Crêperie offers Hong Kong a taste of the lesser-known food region of Brittany. The French crêpe or traditional galette is creative, unexpected, and full of diverse flavours—some totally new to taste. Of course, you can try the original flavours too! You can enjoy over 30 varieties of sweet and savoury crêpes and galettes that are artfully plated and always so fresh.
Image credit: lacreperiehk/Instagram
There’s no mistaking it. This is a Michelin-starred restaurant with neatly laid-out tables, chic decor, immaculate service, and culinary muscle to prove it. Music is hushed, as are conversations, which allows you to focus on the exquisite. Lean into the fussy Frenchiness of it— you’ll hardly be thinking about the decor once Épure places its first dish before you1
Image credit: epure.hk
(Hero and feature image credit: Netflix)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: French baker Gontran Cherrier now serves authentic French pastries and croissants in K11 Musea.
Answer: Épure and Maison ES offer some of the most authentic French dishes in Hong Kong.